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Taylor F. (James Madison HS, 2022) School of Visual Arts (SVA)


  • School of Visual Arts (SVA) - Early Action, Cartooning, Merit Scholarship $94,000.00

  • Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) - Early Action, Fine Art

  • The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) - Early Action, Cartooning, Scholarship $28,000.00

  • Ringling College of Art and Design - Art and Visual Technology, Scholarship $40,000.00

1. Why did you choose this major? In elementary school, I made a lot of friends who were very interested in art. They happen to be quite into animation; they introduced me to a lot of cartoons and anime. I got super invested in the worlds that the animators and artists created, especially in Middle School. During that time I was having difficulty adjusting to my new environment, so comics and shows became a way to escape stress. In the future, I would like to provide a similar experience to other people. I originally wanted to major in animation, although, after a lot of thought I decided that cartooning was more suited for me. Cartooning allows me to put my ideas down and see a flushed-out version of my story sooner, whereas animation takes a lot of time and is hard to do on your own.

2. How did you find your inspiration? A lot of the stories that I've written are influenced by the media I consume. Since comics and cartoons have been a large part of my childhood, I tend to find myself coming back to them to find inspiration. When I'm in a large art block I sit down and find a new show or comic, this allows me to get back into a creative mindset. Although, watching old favorites also helps a ton. I'm especially inspired by Ghibli movies due to their stunning graphics and beautifully told stories. I particularly have deep admiration for stories that reflect and add stances to issues that correlate with real life. This is something that I would like to also do in my own work.

3. Who is your favorite artist? How does he/she inspire you? Currently, my favorite artist is Zemyata on YouTube. They're quite an inspiring animator that I've been following for about a year and a half now. I like them because they had a quite humble beginning and through a lot of practice and dedication they developed a ton of skill in animation. They've had a lot of opportunities to work with musicians to make music videos due to their unique art style. In the future, I hope to inspire other people just as Zemyata inspires me and tons of others.

4. What is your favorite artwork that you made? My most recent graphite still life is currently my favorite artwork. The last time I used graphite was in Middle School, so I doubted whether I would be able to make something that I was proud of. While I was doing this piece I learned a few new techniques for rendering with graphite, which made the process a lot more fun. I arranged a lot of my childhood objects into a still life, which made this artwork a lot more personal to me. Every object in this artwork has a connection to my life. Such as the owl doll that I received from my great uncle at a Christmas festival in New York City, the box that my mom sent me while I was away at summer camp and terribly homesick, and the porcelain animals that my great grandmother left for us when she passed. This piece ended up taking two or three weeks to complete, but in the end, it turned out really well.

5. What was the most difficult aspect of your portfolio preparation? Over the summer, seniors would work around 6 to 10 hours on their portfolio every day, all week, which was necessary, but extremely tiring. It was the last stretch to being finished with my portfolio, but that time was also the most difficult to stay motivated. I would leave the studio late at night and go home exhausted, and coming in the next morning early was definitely not fun either. Working on the same thing every day for a week was quite boring since the studio is quiet and holding focus is difficult, but in the end, it paid off. Although I didn't enjoy it, I would do it again since I saw a rapid improvement in my art.

6. How does NYSA help you overcome your artistic challenges? What makes you improve your artistic skills set and knowledge? Knowing that the NYSA team is there to give me the support I need when I have difficult challenges keeps me going. I've learned a lot from each teacher that has worked with me and I'm truly grateful for that. Especially KJ, the head director, and Tory, the head digital teacher, have been there every step of the way. They're really more than just teachers to me, they're extremely dependable people in my life. I know that a lot of the other seniors in the graduating class see them in the same way. They've taught me to be resilient and even when things are tough to keep pushing forward, which I think is more valuable than any artistic technique you'll learn. Of course, they've helped me develop my art to a level that I didn't expect I could achieve, but knowing that the ISA team will be proud of me makes any challenges I face minute. 7. Tell us your thoughts about the NYSA! I don’t think that I could have ever gotten to the skill level I’m currently at without help from the staff at NYSA. The staff is super cooperative, talented, and nurturing. Sometimes there are situations where Teachers take a more tough-love approach, but it’s ultimately helpful. Every teacher I’ve worked with knows exactly what to say and what can be done to improve and cater the curriculum to the major and colleges you want to go into. I truly love the portfolio staff at NYSA, and I recommend the program to anyone who's an aspiring artist and able to afford classes.

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